The Choral Music of Ruth Elaine Schram

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Commissioned Works

It is always an honor to be asked to write a commissioned work to commemorate a special occasion in the life of a church, school, community group, or in honor of an individual. Below are some examples of commissions I've written for various groups.

Please contact me at for more information. - Ruth Elaine Schram

Recent Choral Commissions:

Commissioned by the Midland High School Chorus, Midland, Michigan (Robert Sabourin, director). Ruthie has arranged the "prequel" to her very popular "America the Beautiful" (BL276), skillfully setting "America" (My Country 'Tis of Thee; Thesaurus Musicus, words by Samuel F. Smith) for three-part mixed chorus and optional baritone. Beginning with an optional intro, the song starts a cappella and builds verse by verse to a powerful conclusion. While it is magnificent on its own, an alternate ending that enables a segue into her arrangement of "America the Beautiful" creates a stirring patriotic medley. Suitable for school (wonderful for end-of-year or concerts with a patriotic theme) or church use (great for Sundays near Memorial Day or July Fourth, or other patriotic services).

Free MP3 part-by-part rehearsal aids and accompaniments are available from the publisher.

BriLee (Carl Fischer)
BL675 - Three-part Mixed / Opt. Baritone

Be Still, My Soul
View scoreView score page 1, page 2, page 5, page 6
MP3 audioClick here to listen
This arrangement of the beloved hymn based on the immortal FINLANDIA theme by Sibelius is true to the spirit of the original while adding a freshness through the addition of an optional organ part to the piano accompaniment with optional flute. Thoughtfully and artfully arranged for the volunteer choir, this heartfelt choral expresses the comfort of God's promises. The third verse offers a chance to feature the men's voices, followed by a lovely SSA section.

Commissioned by the First United Methodist Church of Arab, Alabama, in honor of Eleanor Cobb and her many years of dedication and service, and based upon her favorite hymn.

Shawnee Press
A8695 - SATB, piano, opt. organ, opt. flute

Carry Us Forward
Commissioned by the Highlands Presbyterian Church Family, in honor of and in celebration of twelve years of musical leadership by their Director of Music, Maria Wydra-Rohloff. "Lead us heavenly Father, through the storms that surround; guard us, guide us, keep us, bring us out on higher ground ... Carry us forward, into the light. Lift us up, lift us high above the night, out of our darkness, by Your power and Your might, carry us forward..."

Created for Praise
Commissioned in honor of Eileen and Robert Newton's thirty years of inspirational music ministry at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church, Groton, Connecticut. "... I was created for praise, designed to reflect Your glory; to show the world Your grace, to tell all the world Your story. You alone are the Potter, and I am but the clay; a vessel made by You, created for praise... "

The Face of Courage
Commissioned by Composers and Schools in Concert (CSIC) fir the Frederick Law Olmsted Academy South Chorus in Louisville, Kentucky, with words inspired by texts submitted by the students.

God's Great Peace
View scoreView score page 1, page 2, page 8
MP3 audioListen to an excerpt
Commissioned for the dedication of the new organ at First Baptist Church, Keller, Texas, this powerful work by Ruth Elaine Schram is scored for mixed voices with organ accompaniment and incorporates the hymn "Like a River Glorious." Additional text by John Parker.

Grow Me, Lord
Commissioned in honor of the 30th anniversary celebration of "Growth In Faith," Inc. in Seminole, Florida, based upon the original theme song by Joyce Mendini and Dinny Siersema. "...Grow me, Lord, grow me through and through, so that every part of me can be used by You. Mold me, Lord, change me day by day. Fill the yielded heart of me, and grow me, Lord, I pray... "

Hear Our Prayer, Hear Our Song
Commissioned by the First Presbyterian Church of McAllen, Texas, and by Walter Passmore, longtime choir member and friend, on the occasion of their 100th anniversary celebration. "... As we celebrate a century, worshipping as one, we lift our hearts in praise for this precious, sacred place. Hear our prayer, hear our song; keep us safe, keep us strong as we pass the torch along to another generation ..."

Hope Is Like the Wind
MP3 audioClick here to listen
Commissioned by the Learwood Middle School 8th Grade Chorus, Avon Lake, Ohio, with text (by Ruth Elaine Schram) based upon prose and poetry submitted by the students. Whether performed on your spring concert or at graduation festivities, this uplifting, inspirational original will be a marvelous signature song for your choir. Opportunities are provided for each voice part to sing the melody, as well as accessible part-writing for all voices. Emotive and lyrical, it features a flowing, supportive accompaniment.

Heritage (Lorenz)
15/2677H - SATB
99/2609H - P/A CD

How Beautiful This Silent Night
Commissioned by the widow of David Davenport, this setting of his thoughtful text is gentle and captivating. The beautiful text images in this artful anthem are reinforced by subtle musical references to "Silent Night, Holy Night." Ruthie's melody is unforgettable. Perfect for Christmas Eve services, there is a dual text with Dave's original poem, "How Beautiful on Christmas Eve."

Customized Instrumental Accompaniment is available for this choral work! Click here for more info.

10/4414L - SATB / Piano

I Will Live My Thanks
View scoreView score page 3, page 4
MP3 audioClick here to listen
This tender song of Thanksgiving and praise by Ruth Elaine Schram and Joseph M. Martin is unforgettable. Compelling yet gentle, it is easily learned so that the emphasis can be placed on the expressive qualities. Commissioned in honor of Elizabeth Monk on the occasion of her 100th birthday.

Shawnee Press
A8510 - SATB

I Will Serve You
View scoreView score page 5, page 6
MP3 audioClick here to listen
Commissioned by the Chancel Choir of First United Methodist Church, Anniston, Alabama, in honor of James Roberts' 25 years as organist, this lovely anthem incorporates his favorite hymn, "For the Beauty of the Earth" by Folliot S. Pierpoint and Conrad Kocher. Unison children begin by stating this hymn text and melody, then later this works in partnership with the original material sung by adults, "... Lord of all, Creator of all things; Lord of life, Lord of Lords and King of Kings; Lord of all, this prayer to You we raise: that our life may be a hymn of grateful praise..." Suitable any time of the year.

Customized Instrumental Accompaniment is available for this choral work! Click here for more info.

Laurel Press (Lorenz)
10/3425LA - SATB with Unison children

I Will Sing (cover) I Will Sing
View scoreView Three Part Mixed score page 1, page 2
MP3 audioClick here to listen (Three Part Mixed)
"I will sing, though the world may be silent, I believe someone is listening..."   Beautiful, uplifting song of the power of music to bring us together and of the difference that one individual joining with others can make.   Commissioned by the Alabama ACDA Young Voices Festival, Shirley Ellison and Lisa Latham, Co-Directors.  Optional cello part included in score.

21111 - Three-Part Mixed (Level Three)
21112 - Two-Part (Level Two)

In This Place
Commissioned by and dedicated to the seniors of Edsel Ford High School, Dearborn, Michigan (Steven H. Olsen, director). A beautiful song of encouragement and appreciation, in honor of graduates everywhere who face the future with the intention of building upon the firm foundation laid by their education, and with appreciation to all those who helped along the way.

Let My Life Tell the Story
Commissioned in loving memory of Mary Ellen Penrod, who served as choir director at Rummel Church of the Brethren in Windber, Pennsylvania, for over 50 years.

Look to Jesus
Commissioned in honor of Susan Weimer's many years of faithful service to the music ministry of Hope United Methodist Church, Torrance, California, and based upon Hebrews 12:1-2, her favorite passage of scripture.

Love One Another
MP3 audioClick here to listen
The universal theme of love and charity fill this piece with purpose and excellent worship potential. Drawing from the words of the Savior, Ruthie has crafted a piece that incorporates a full range of music ministry resources into a touching statement. Use the instrumentation and handbell parts to create a truly singular piece for your entire music program. Voiced for SATB adults, SAB youth, Two Part children, piano, hand bells, and flute. Commissioned in honor of Louise Angermeier upon her retirement as Director of Music from Clarkston United Methodist Church, Clarkston, Michigan and based upon her favorite passage of scripture.

Shawnee Press
A7927 - SATB Adult / SAB Youth / Two Part

Make My Life an Alleluia
View scoreView SATB score page 3, page 4
MP3 audioClick here to listen
Commissioned by the Grace UCC Choir of Frederick, Maryland, this tender prayer is composed with delicate harmonies in a simple, yet compelling, style. The text is based upon thoughts submitted by the singers and director (Truuke Ameigh) of this group. Suitable any time of year; makes a very meaningful song at memorial services.  Available in two voicings for mixed choirs.

Now included in the SATB/SAB/Two-part Mixed Songbook "Ready to Worship," featuring easy anthems for the entire church year.

Customized Instrumental Accompaniment is available for this choral work! Click here for more info.

Monarch (Lorenz)
10/3170M - SATB
10/3171M - SAB
45/1172L - SATB/SAB Songbook

My Declaration (I Will Stand)
View scoreView score page 5, page 6
MP3 audioClick here to listen
Commissioned in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 by the Montgomery Academy in Montgomery, Alabama (Damion Womack, director), this patriotic ballad gives singers the opportunity to make a stand for their nation and for freedom. This powerful, moving song of unity is available for SATB voices and has a soprano descant on the final chorus.

Shawnee Press
A2176 - SATB
CD0137 - Accompaniment CD

My Shepherd's Promise
Commissioned by friends and family in honor of Judy Feasel Jones for her 17 years of leadership at Macland Presbyterian Church, Powder Springs, Georgia. Voiced for SATB and piano, with optional Violin and Cello parts, and based upon Psalm 23, her favorite passage of scripture, as well as two of her favorite hymn texts (also based on Psalm 23). "Every need I have, my Shepherd already knows, my Shepherd already knows, and has promised to provide. Every longing of my soul will be satisfied, my soul will be satisfied; He has promised to provide. Jesus is my Shepherd, I will follow where He leads me... "

Open Hearts, Open Doors
Commissioned by the West Yarmouth Congregational Church of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, in celebration of their Handicap Accessibility Renovation, this warm and reverent anthem calls all people to enter God's house to renew their faith and to praise Him. The centerpiece is the inclusion of two stanzas of the traditional hymn "In Christ There Is No East or West" (ST. PETER; words by John Oxenham, music by Alexander Reinagle). Flexibly voiced for either SAB or SATB voices.

Customized Instrumental Accompaniment is available for this choral work! Click here for more info.

10/4371L - SAB / SATB / Piano

Our Hope For Years to Come
View scoreView score page 4, page 5
MP3 audioClick here to listen
Culminating with an optional segue to O God, Our Help in Ages Past (St. Anne by William Croft), this anthem provides an engaging and uplifting new melody to the beloved Isaac Watts text. Excellent for New Years, dedication services, or any worship service, the title aptly describes the ennobling spirit of the text and music. Commissioned by the Chancel Choir of the Ascension Lutheran Church, Montgomery, Ohio (David Bezona, director), for the dedication of their new sanctuary.

Customized Instrumental Accompaniment is available for this choral work! Click here for more info.

Laurel Press (Lorenz)
10/3556LA - SATB

Rockwood River
Commissioned by the All-Cleveland County (North Carolina) Middle School Choral Festival. Pure fun abounds in this unison/optional two-part original folk song by Mark Cabaniss, arranged by Ruth Elaine Schram. Your choir will enjoy singing about the folks from Rockwood River, where life is easy and the pace is slow. The optional fiddle and string bass parts, enhanced with intermittent clapping, add a realistic musical depiction of a Huck Finn / Tom Sawyer adventure. Available in two voicings.

Free MP3 part-by-part rehearsal aids and accompaniments are available from the publisher.

BriLee (Carl Fischer)
BL745 - Three-part Mixed
BL754 - Unison / Opt. Two-Part

Roland Park Country School Centennial Song (cover) Roland Park Country School Centennial Song
The Roland Park Country School of Baltimore, Maryland, commissioned Ruth Elaine Schram to compose the Centennial Song for the school's 100th anniversary. This twelve minute work was premiered in October 2009 at Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, accompanied by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

The 280 voice choir (Doug Forbes, Wanda Waller, and Rhonda AbouHana, directors) performed in four sets; the first, a two part piece for Elementary age; the second, an SSA piece for middle school age, and the third, an SSAA piece for the upper grades. The fourth set, the finale, was a stirring combination of the themes sung in the first three parts in "Partner" style. A beautiful orchestral score was written by Greg Pascuzzi for this event. (The RPCS web site.)

Silent, Holy Night
Commissioned by the Stockdale High School String Orchestra, Bakersfield, California, as a gift from John Gage, their conductor, upon his retirement. Beautiful, flowing medley of three beloved carols: "Silent Night," "Away in a Manger," and "O Holy Night."

The Sky Is Crying On the Sea
View scoreView SATB score page 6, page 7
MP3 audioClick here to listen (SATB)
Commissioned by the Learwood Middle School 8th Grade Chorus, Avon Lake, Ohio, this thoughtful, expressive work soars with dramatic intensity and dynamic contrast. The text (based on ideas submitted by the students) is filled with beautiful imagery describing seasonal changes and the circularity of life-giving water, which falls as rain or rises as mist from sea to sky and back again. Stunning, yet accessible for mixed choirs or ladies' voices. Suitable for concert, contest or festival use.

Heritage (Lorenz)
15/2103H - SATB
15/2104H - SSA

A Song in Every Heart
View scoreView score page 5, page 6
MP3 audioClick here to listen
Commissioned by Sullivan Middle School, Rock Hill, South Carolina (Beverly J. Laney, director).  This song emphasizes that because we are all unique, each of us contributes something to the symphony of life.  When we combine our individual songs of celebration, love and joy (as well as our songs of strife, sorrow, loneliness and despair) we come together in harmony and unity.  Uplifting message of hope and acceptance, perfectly suited for Middle School or Junior High School voices.

BriLee (Carl Fischer)
BL324 - Three Part Mixed

Song to Tradition
Commissioned by the Plymouth-Canton Educational Park Choirs, under the direction of Jennifer L. Kopp, based upon a poem by Dennis Neumann. This piece, perfect for graduation, celebrates the growth and change that takes place and challenges us to move on, leaving the "safe" and familiar behind. "... So, why are there wings, if not to fly? And why are there sails, if not for winds and seas to try?..."

Take Up the Banner
Commissioned for the dedication of their new sanctuary by Bella Vista Community Church, Bella Vista, Arkansas (Mike Walkup, Director of Music). This powerful song celebrates the function of the church in the life of the believer.

The Talents We Possess
Commissioned by the Keene State College Choir in Keene, New Hampshire, Ruth Elaine Schram has penned a very thoughtful and beautiful composition. She encourages us all to use the talents we possess, and develop them to the best of our ability. Even though we are not all destined to be the best at what we do, we can still be the best we can be.

Everyone can relate to the inspirational message of the text, which is well served by the lovely music. This is a perfect selection for graduation or end-of-year ceremonies. "So, sing your song, let your radiance shine! Combine your gifts with those of mine. How lovely the world could be if we each gave our best of the talents we possess."

Free MP3 part-by-part rehearsal aids and accompaniments are available from the publisher.

Carl Fischer
CM9171 - SATB

Together We Praise
Commissioned in honor of their 175th anniversary (September 2011), this song was written for Emmanuel United Methodist Church, based upon scriptures and ideas submitted by the choir members. A Call to Worship based on this song was published by Word Music, in the collection "Instant Introits and Amens."

Upon This Rock
View scoreView score page 2, page 3, page 4
Commissioned for the 200th anniversary of Edenton United Methodist Church, Edenton, North Carolina, this powerful setting of Matthew 16:17-19 is aptly set by Ruth Elaine Schram. The familiar text is one of the best-known foundational scriptures of the mission for the church: "Upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it..." Appropriate for worship services, dedications, and other commitment days throughout the church year.

Hal Leonard
08748991 - SATB

Ut Vitam Habeant
A gorgeous, expressive anthem based on John 10:10. The combination of Latin text and open fifths gives this piece a haunting quality, yet the lingering tonic provides an anchor: the unshakable truth that Christ is our hope and shield. The optional part for any C instrument adds the perfect countermelody to this outstanding piece. Very appropriate for the Lenten season or the Sundays following Easter.

Commissioned by Coventry Christian Schools in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, in honor of its 30th Anniversary. Text is based upon the school motto, taken from John 10:10, where Jesus says "I have come that they might have life, and have it more abundantly."

CGA1480 - Unison / Two-part

We Sing, We Dance!
View scoreView score page 9, page 10, page 11
MP3 audioClick here to listen
This upbeat original vibrates with joy and intensity! The rhythm of the earth is represented in the drums, stomps and Flamenco-style claps, which build to the contrasting bridge. This flowing section celebrates the gift of music, then moves us full circle back to the joyful opening theme for a climactic conclusion. Commissioned by the Florida Elementary Music Educators Association and premiered at the FMEA All State Elementary Chorus concert. Scored for Two or Three Part Treble voices,with opt. drum part included in score.

Heritage (Lorenz)
15/2223H - Two Part (Opt. SSA)
99/2066H - Performance / Accompaniment CD
99/2025H - Heritage Accompaniment CD #19 (Multi-song)

We Will Rejoice
Ruth Elaine Schram's setting of Psalm 118 is a great way to begin your choir season this autumn! Energetic rhythm and crisp consonants set the tone for this joyful anthem. An optional second part adds a wonderful complement to the strong melody, but the song works beautifully unison, making it a perfect choice for developing choirs just beginning to learn harmony and independent singing.

Commissioned by the Louisiana District 9 Elementary Honor Choir in memory of Georgia Mannino, a beloved teacher, and based upon her favorite Psalm.

CGA1424 - Unison/two-part

Wings of the Wind
View scoreView score page 2, page 3, page 6
MP3 audioClick here to listen
A majestic opening statement soon gives way to an easy, more contemporary "feel" in this original ballad with supportive, flowing piano score and a theme suitable for youth or adults alike: "God, how wonderful you are!" Based on Psalm 104 and commissioned by the Youth Choir of First United Methodist Church of Ft. Worth, Texas, under the direction of Mark Burrows. "Who makes the clouds His chariot? Who rides the wings of the wind? Who laid the earth's foundations, which shall not be moved? ... Who stretches out the heavens, just like a curtain of stars! Who wears the light as a garment, Who rides the wings of the wind..." Powerful, fresh setting of the poetic "Bless the Lord, Oh my soul" text.

Suitable for Transfiguration Sunday as well as general use throughout the church year.

Customized Instrumental Accompaniment is available for this choral work! Click here for more info.

10/3696L - SATB

Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow
Commissioned by the Congregation of Young Harris United Methodist Church, Athens, Georgia, for their Centennial Celebration, and set for SATB voices with Piano accompaniment, with optional Flute and Handbells. "Yesterday, You are God, and today, You are God, and tomorrow, and forever, evermore the same. Worthy of our love, worthy of our praise, worthy of our faithful service, yesterday, and today, tomorrow, and forever..."

You Are My Hero
Based upon ideas submitted by students at Learwood Middle School in Avon Lake, Ohio, this sincere tribute provides an opportunity to celebrate the people that we admire. Offering a refreshing view of family, school, and community through the eyes of young people, this piece is an excellent choice for Graduation, Concert, Festival, or for honoring a special teacher.

Optional parts for Violin (or Flute) and Cello are available as a free download from Lorenz. Go to and search 15/3016H or 15/3017H.

Heritage (Lorenz)
15/3016H - SATB / Piano / Violin (or Flute) & Cello
15/3017H - Three-part Mixed / Piano / Violin (or Flute) & Cello
99/3067H - Performance / Accompaniment CD

Your Song Goes On
Commissioned by the Ernesto Serna Honor Choir of El Paso, Texas, in honor of their beloved Fifth Grade teacher, Dolores Serna Batres. Song of appreciation to this precious woman who dedicated her life to teaching children, and who left an indelible mark on all the lives she touched; based upon thoughts, artwork, and notes of appreciation submitted by her former students.

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